As promised, we are following up on Georgia’s recent billion-dollar verdict. After some thorough investigation, there is good news to report. In effect, the defendant security company did NOT have a law firm defending it, and the case was tried essentially in a default procedural posture.
Oddly, this information was not reported in the New York Times article on this extraordinary verdict. The paper failed to point out that the case was tried essentially in a default position, which allowed the plaintiff’s attorneys to ask for whatever they wanted and in a manner of their choosing, as there would be no objections to the evidence or closing argument.
Bottom line: The billion-dollar verdict was flawed since no defense was offered. However, regardless of the circumstances, it is disturbing that a “jury of our peers” just signed off on a billion-dollar verdict in the State of Georgia. Such thinking is consistent with the ever-increasing verdicts that we see in the state.